Monday, July 21, 2008

Hot and Hilly

Day 49 Saray to Takayadin

Today’s ride was really kind of a non event. However that may only be because we are so jaded and are now at the point where unless something is so spectacular we don’t even slow down. I think that most of the group are just grinding it out. Two short rides, so let’s get it over with.

The first 25 kms was quite hilly with several longer hills of greater than a one kms in length. Hills are fine with me because you get the down hill glide, but not here as you can’t trust the road surface and so you have to ride the brakes. The road surface was pretty good with only intermittent rough patches. It was mostly scrub oak along the road sides so there was no scenery. So this was just a grind it out section which I was in hurry to do as it was going to be hot day.

The road got steadily worse, got much hillier and the traffic increased as the day wore on. Lunch was at the 45 km mark so we were there by 10:00 AM. It was in a weed infested turn out beside a radio tower. Of course all the weeds had thorns and or burrs which scratched at your legs. The best part of the ride so far has been that we are seeing signs which give the distance to Istanbul.

After lunch the road surface deteriorated to what I am calling asphalt cobble stones. I am sure you know what I mean. When the road is heaved it brakes into 2 to 6 inch pieces. Generally we only see this condition at the top of a heave or in the bottom of a collapse. When the pieces are missing you have a pot hole. But here the entire road surface is that way and we had 15 kms of it. My arms and back where just throbbing after that stretch, of road. The woods had given way to open country side so there were some nice vistas. The last stretch into camp was much better but there were a number of steep climbs, with some pretty vistas. On the last ridge before we arrived at camp you could see the Black Sea off to the north. I was providing us with a cool breeze which I was grateful for.

Tonight was the camp was in a little park just on the out side of this little town. There were no showers so Randy fixed a place where you could have a bucket wash. There were lots of trees so it was nice and shady. We covered the total 70 kms well before lunch so I had a good afternoon nap. Being the last night to cook John put on a real feast of shish kabobs, potatoes and marinated vegetable salad. After super we were given our Orient Express jerseys, only to fine that the sizing was tiny. Thankfully I had ordered a large and I have lost about 15 pounds so I was able to squeeze into mine.

Well thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for all your great comments

See you soon.


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